Going about my routine and mundane life is ok. But it is not ok to have every ounce of my enthusiasm being sucked out of me. This is what internship does to me. Everyday is a constant battle with time, all within 9 working hours. It is debatable as to the sufficiency of 9 working hours a day. I’m so drained. Doubtful of my very own existence, and leading a precarious life off the miserably low allowance of only 8000 SEK with half of it going into rent, I’m very grateful to have a friend flying over from Italy to stay with me for a couple of days to revitalise me emotionally. Every last trip that I had with her was event-filled and our short duration together in Stockholm is no exception.
There are so much to say, and so little time. (Yes, I’m a very busy person and I need my beauty sleep). Why do I still get the feeling that this is going to be a long post?
“Old is gold” and old is indeed gold. That is probably the reason behind the preservation of Old Town in every city with a rich history. In Stockholm, Gamla Stan is that old town. Walking down the cobblestone path between the short and cranky buildings may be the most amusing thing to an architecture student, but unfortunately, I’m a business student. Arguably, it could be the freezing weather that downplayed my mood for such antiquated atmosphere. Despite that, we still fumbled our way into a beautiful residential area and it looked awfully familiar. I was pacing around and pondering on this familiar scene, and when it hits me, I was staring at an abhorred act – a grown up man jerking off unashamedly. Before I knew it, I was screaming “oh my gosh” and running away as fast as I could. Ironically, that place was filmed in MY CITY IS… STOCKHOLM – BBC NEWS where Arne Dahl, a novelist, read out a dark passage from a crime book that he had written. He went on to say, “it may look very pretty from the outside, but on the inside, it’s pretty much as ugly as the rest of Europe”. Call me mad, but it was a good and crazy experience.
The number one attraction in Stockholm is none other than the Vasa Museum! No surprise here as Stockholm was prominently known as a viking heartland back in the European days. This museum features a 400 years old warship and it is amazing to witness 98% of it remaining as original as it could be. Apparently the Vasa Warship sank within one hour of its glorious sail, no thanks to the lack of knowledge in shipbuilding during 1628. A gentle gust tilted the ship to its left and water gushed relentlessly into its gun ports to the point of no return. Spending approximately 1.5 hours in the Vasa Museum, we concurred that it is an extremely educational museum that explained the history of the Vasa Warship all the way to the physics of a ship. It couldn’t be agreed more that the Vasa Warship has more glory in sinking than going for war.
How does dine & dash sounds? Like a jerk? Well, we pulled it off on a Saturday night after a really good workout on the ice skating rink with much remorse. The restaurant serves delicious Swedish Meatballs, Pork Sausages and unlimited amount of bread. For the amount that we were supposed to pay, it is justified for us to request a ridiculously amount of things. So we asked for free glasses of water, second serving of bread and even took advantage of the free restroom (Stockholm’s public restrooms charges a fee). A hearty chat with a Korean girl distracted us from our bill and after bidding goodbye, we waded out of the restaurant with a satisfied tummy. It wasn’t until we were on the metro before we realized our negligence. But we ain’t a pair of obnoxious and stingy Asians and so we notified the restaurant of their negligence (as well). As I was footing the bill today, the manager even gave me a thumbs up!
Four days is too short a duration to hang out, but it was indeed time well spent with exciting stories to be told.
Sidetracking… I couldn’t emphasize enough that even though beautiful and clean, Stockholm is an unexciting city. Maybe summer would be a different story. Oh wait… During summer, every Swede will take a week or two for a countryside retreat and every other residents will be enjoying their vacation traveling around Europe.